Last month we spoke about some tips for new home buyers in New York State when purchasing home owners insurance, and we solicited the help of my friend Bill Allen, an independent insurance broker at the William C. Allen Insurance Agency, Mineola, NY 11501. Here are some ways to try to lower those costs:
1) Consider installing a security system and smoke detectors: A security system that is monitored by a central station alarm company or notifies the police directly will typically provide a 5% discount. Smoke detectors are a standard safety feature in new homes and should be installed in older homes. Having them may not only save a life but could also reduce the cost of insurance.
2) Raise the deductible. Higher deductibles equal reduced premiums: A homeowner willing to take a greater portion of the risk by agreeing to paying a higher deductible in the event of a claim, will pay a much lower premium. Since insurance should only be used for catastrophic events and never for small claims, it makes sense to have higher deductible.
3) Bundle insurance policies: By combining home, auto and umbrella (excess liability) policies, insurance companies give substantial discounts which can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
4) Rely and Purchase an Umbrella Policy. One of the most cost effective ways to effectuate better insurance coverage for your entire family is to purchase an Umbrella Policy which will give you greater personal coverage, greater automobile injury protection, protection of your secondary homes; and protection from wacky lawsuits like defamation (always an issue on Face Book).
The Bottom Line: Having the right team of experienced and trustworthy real estate professionals including a seasoned insurance professional will help smooth out that process.
Post Script– do you know the difference between an insurance “agent” and an insurance “broker.” Bill Allen is an independent insurance professional offering most forms of insurance including homeowners insurance throughout New York and the Tri-State area. As an indpendent insurance professional, he can act as a Broker– meaning that he works on your behalf to secure the correct insurance for you needs from a wide variety of insurers and insurance policies. This is different from an “agent” who is associated and must sell only the policies of one insurance company and is acting as an “agent” for the Company, not you. Keep this in mind when shopping around.